Office Culture and “A Christmas Carol” (1843)

I’m too fucking autistic for this, I thought to myself, as I read over the strict set of rules, guidelines, and pre-cautionary measures for my school’s Secret Santa game. In Secret Santa games of old, there was a greater feeling of structurelessness- a kind of free-spirited whimsy- where you made your best guess at to what your Secret Santee would like. There was a dangerous, fascistic element to this- especially for the unwitting autist, who may think that a handsome print copy of “Industrial Society and Its Future” would make for an insightful and appropriate gift.

Perhaps it would spark interesting conversation and a new friendship?

Perhaps the woman reading “The Handmaid’s Tale,” who confessed to our group as we waited for the “Monthly Meditative Moment” morning meeting to begin, that it makes her weep “good, cleansing tears,” would enjoy a copy of “The Pussy“- at least to actively engage in a healthy counter-narrative?

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The Disillusioned Boomer and “Christmas Vacation” (1989)

Taking Wally World hostage after an mangled cross-country road trip in “Vacation” (1983) was emblematic of the dawning Reagan 80s. Clark wasn’t going to be denied, and if life didn’t deal him the hand he wanted, he’d take what he felt entitled to- this was his moment.

Reagan’s landslide victory in 1980 coincided with the Boomer’s coming of age and taking over the cultural reigns of the West, and Reagan played to their newfound feeling of social control. Like a college freshman overwhelmed with the trivialities of burgeoning freedom, Boomers were getting high on their own supply and quickly gaining weight. They were mad with control and looking to carve-out a society in their own image- and Ronald Reagan was the man to get them there.

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